The epazote herb is one deeply Mexican ingredient that has no substitute that I know off. It has a very unique, clear and deep flavor that adds a lot of character to a dish. Hard to describe, it has that I don’t know what, that somehow makes a distinct difference.

Epazote leaves are pointy, serrated and dark green. It grows about everywhere in Mexico and can be found fresh in many markets in the US. It can also be found dried and packaged, but with a much milder flavor.

24 comments on “Epazote

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  1. Hello Pati! The University in my town has an heirloom plant sale every spring and this year they have Epazote plants available! I’m getting two(just in case)! I want to thank you for not only sharing your gift of cooking(as I can cook but only when following a recipe) but your gift of unending happy! It makes my day! My immune system has gone haywire and as a result I have developed 26 food “allergies” and new ones appear periodically. I used to be a foodie with a love of restaurants and travel. Both have been cut short and I have been made to get creative in the kitchen in order to keep tasting. Your recipes are nearly perfect for me as they contain nearly nothing I am allergic to or the major players (largely cheese in many cultures and I am allergic to dairy proteins) are consistently not something that will cause a reaction! Thank you thank you thank you for not being dependent on dairy as a main appeal ingredient! I can find the joy in eating again and get back to one of the things that makes humans distinct in the animal kingdom!

    1. That’s awesome, Kristin! I hope you are enjoying your epazote plants. And I’m so happy to hear the recipes meet your dietary needs.

  2. Going on a quest for epazote today. I made the quesadillas without epazote yesterday and love the simplicity and flavor. So now I’ve committed to locating the ever-elusive epazote leaf–the only herb I have never been able to find–to taste what I’ve been missing. Not the first time I’ve had to omit from a recipe. Especially eager to locate and try because so many say there is no substitute. Thanks, Pati.

  3. Thank you,Pati. I have only found the dried version of epizote. I love it in chili and green chili salsa. I have heard that using epizote in any dish with beans makes the beans easier to digest. I think it is true from my own experience. I would love to try fresh epizote…I may have to grow it myself!

  4. I have never knowingly had epazote, but have seen it in mnay recipes. It has always been very difficult to find in my area over the years, but I wondered if the “medicinal/digestive” properties are true? I love beans of all types and this would make life easier, and tastier! (I’m trying to be polite, it is a cooking blog : o )

    1. Hola! You can look for epazote in the produce section of your local Latin market. If you don’t see, they will mostly likely have it dried, where the rest of the dried herbs are. You can use the dried for beans, too! I can’t say for sure about the medicinal benefits, but I have heard this, too…

  5. Hi Pati, my mom had only found epasote in El Paso as the dried version and always uses it in her frijoles. When she came to visit me in Georgia we could only find the fresh lead (although I use the word fresh loosely) at a Latin market. You say it can be grown very easy, do you know where I can find the plant or seed to grow?

  6. Pati.!!!! I just love your show. you have inspire me to keep cooking Mexican Dishes. I’m going to try making your chocolate flour less cake . I cannot wait to get your cook book.

  7. Pati,
    Thank you for your show and the recipes. Your cooking reminds me
    of my grandmother’s dishes growing up. I have been hoping for a
    quick mole recipe and found it in the amarillito mole con pollo.
    I intend to try this during the holidays. Gracias, Antonio

  8. Hi Pat-
    I should be able to find it in AZ, but I don’t remember ever seeing or hearing of it in the produce market, plant nurseries, or anywhere around else here. Of course, now that you brought it to my attention, I’ll see it everywhere once I post this.
    How is it used? Do we cook it, use it raw in place of lettuce or is it just used as an herb for seasoning?
    I’m trying to learn to cook Mexican at home instead only going to Mexican restaurants. 🙂
    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Hey Darla,
      Yes! You should be able to find it in international or Latino stores. Plus, epazote is very, very easy to grow. It is used as a seasoning herb, for all kinds of stews, either vegetable or meat, and especially good with beans from the pot or refried beans. Also great to add a single epazote leave in a quesadilla. Epazote has a strong, yet clean and peculiar flavor, so only very little is required.
      I will be adding more recipes that can use epazote so you can try it out!